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Kalamazoo Nature Center Raises Concerns About Mosquito Spraying

A close up photo of dead mosquitoes in a dish being sorted with tweezers
Lisa Poole
AP Photo

The Kalamazoo Nature Center is calling for more discussion as the state gets ready to spray insecticide in several counties. 

Michigan’s health department is hoping that aerial treatments will tamp down an outbreak of Eastern Equine Encephalitis, a mosquito-borne disease that can be deadly to humans.

The state’s had to scale back some spray zones after multiple requests for exemption. Some came from the Nature Center. Stewardship Field Director Ryan Koziatek said the nonprofit wants to know more about the surfactants in the spray. Those inactive ingredients make the insecticide more effective.

Koziatek said that habitat loss has already put a strain on wildlife, “Insect and aquatics included, amphibians, fish.”

“Putting an additional stress on them, potential stress on them has us concerned,” he said.

Koziatek added that this is peak bird migration season.

“A lot of the birds that rely on insects as a part of their diet are moving their way through Kalamazoo County right now,” he said.

Koziatek says it’s possible that killing off mosquitoes would deprive those birds of an important food source just as they try to store energy for the journey.

Sehvilla Mann joined WMUK’s news team in January 2014 as a reporter on the local government and education beats. Before that she covered a variety of topics, including environmental issues, for Bloomington, Indiana NPR and PBS affiliates WFIU and WTIU. She’s also written and produced stories for the Pacifica Network and WYSO Public Radio in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Sehvilla holds a B.A. in French from Earlham College and an M.A. in journalism from Indiana University.
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